Last week I tried a recipe for Toasted Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts from the New York Times, and it was mind blowing! Crispy gnocchi just might be my new favorite ingredient. No need to boil it, but just crisp it up in your pan, and it makes the most delicious accompaniment to anything you can think of. The options are unlimited! So for my recipe, I wanted to try crispy gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Fennel, Kale, and fresh Sage. It made for the most delicious quick dinner, and no sauce was necessary.
If you’ve never cooked with fennel before, just treat it like an onion! To prepare it, cut off all the fronds and all the green parts, leaving just the bulb. You can slice off the end of the bulb, cut it in half and put it cut side down on the cutting board before slicing it very thinly. The thinner, the better, so it will soften and caramelize a bit.
Let’s get started on this recipe! First, heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet or other type of skillet over medium high heat. Add the fennel, and cook until softened and browning lightly, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and garlic and cook for another minute just until everything is aromatic. To the pan, add the sausage, and cook, stirring frequently until no pink is left and the sausage is browned. Pour this mixture into a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining oil and add the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any pieces that are stuck together. Spread the gnocchi in an even layer, cover the pan, and cook without disturbing for about 2-4 minutes until gnocchi is browned on one side. Remove the lid and add the kale, sauteeing until it softens, about a minute or two. Then add the sausage mixture back to the pan and heat it through. Then serve topped with grated parmigiano reggiano! See the full recipe below.
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lb hot or mild Italian sausage
- 1 lb packaged gnocchi (dry, not frozen)
- ½ bunch of lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
- grated parmigiano reggiano
- kosher salt
- In a large cast iron skillet, add 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the fennel. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel is softened and slightly browned. Add the sage and garlic, and saute for one minute. Add the sausage and cook, stirring until the sausage is completely browned and no longer pink. Pour the sausage mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and keep over medium high heat. Add the gnocchi in one even layer, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover and cook for 2-4 minutes until gnocchi is browned on one side and crispy.
- Add the kale and saute for a minute or until the kale softens. Add the sausage mixture back to the pan and stir it into the gnocchi, cooking for another minute or two until warmed. Serve topped with Parmigiano Reggiano.